Liam Neeson’s “Widows” co-star Michelle Rodriguez pushed back against those questioning the actor’s character after he shared a disturbing revenge story earlier this week by pointing to some of his steamy romantic scenes with Viola Davis in the Steve McQueen film.
“It’s all f—-ing bulls—. Dude have you watched ‘Widows?’ His tongue is so far down Viola Davis’ throat. You can’t call him a racist,” she told Vanity Fair at the amfAR Gala New York on Wednesday night.
“Racists don’t make out with the race that they hate, especially in the way he does with his tongue — so deep down her throat. I don’t care how good of an actor you are. It’s all bulls—. Ignore it. He’s not a racist. He’s a loving man. It’s all lies.”
Both Davis and Rodriguez share the screen in “Widows” — a heist film featuring “four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities.”
Neeson plays Harry Rawling in the film, who is married to Davis’ character, Veronica.
Rodriguez’s defense comes days after her co-star sparked debate with a story he shared while doing press for his upcoming film, “Cold Pursuit.” The 66-year-old actor recalled how he became hungry for revenge nearly 40 years ago after learning a loved one was allegedly raped by a black man.
“I went up and down the streets with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody — I’m ashamed to say that — and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could… kill him,” he told the Independent.
“It took me a week, maybe a week and a half, to go through that. She would say, ‘Where are you going? and I would say, ‘I’m just going for a walk.’ You know?”
The Oscar-nominated actor in a follow-up interview with “Good Morning America” denied that the incident made him racist, adding that he was “shocked” by his “primal urge” to inflict pain and incite violence.
Eventually, he sought out the help to handle his overwhelming feelings of anger.
“I went to a priest, who heard my confession,” he said, adding that he would have reacted the same way regardless of the attacker’s race.
“If she had said an Irish, or a Scot, or a Brit or Lithuanian I know I would have felt the same effect. I was trying to show honor, stand up for my dear friend in this terrible, medieval fashion.”
Rodriguez isn’t the first to wade into the discussion prompted by the “Taken” star. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor Terry Crews sparked backlash for his take on the incident and has spent the days since explaining his perspective to his followers.
“I believe that every person on earth is capable of the greatest good, or unspeakable evil,” he wrote in a tweet on Tuesday .”Liam is just describing the fork in the road.”
In a follow-up post the same night, Crews denied defending Neeson, and instead called for further discussion on the topic.